17 June 2014
ITU Report on ICT Indicators
The Report provides a comprehensive evaluation of the achievements made towards the WSIS Targets, and includes a substantial section on public access through libraries. The report recommends that post-2015 discussions should distinguish between public access to ICTs and online content related to culture, in particular:
- Despite the continuous growth in Internet access, there will continue to be a need for public access to the Internet for the foreseeable future – in particular for poor and underserved rural communities in developing countries. Public libraries and post offices are in a unique position to provide public access to ICTs: they are open to the public, their branches are widely spread and they constitute an established source of information.
- Libraries, museums and archives are repositories of knowledge and information. They present an authoritative source of content and can put information into context. By digitizing books, documents and objects and making them available online, libraries, museums and archives are major providers of online cultural content.
The ITU suggests that future tracking of the ICT-connectedness of libraries, museums, post offices and archives could thus be divided into two parts and merged with possible post-2015 targets focusing on online content creation and connecting people with ICTs. This is a possible complement IFLA’s advocacy approach to the Open Working Group’s discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals.